CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology can target virtually any genomic location of choice by utilizing a short RNA guide, then cut the sequence with the Cas9 protein. Compared with traditional gene editing technologies, the CRISPR-Cas9 system is both faster and more efficient. The CRISPR-Cas9 system currently has a wide variety of applications in gene engineering and bio-medicine, such as gene editing in model organisms and cell cultures to further investigate the relationship between genetic variation and biological function. Other examples of CRISPR-Cas9 utilization include cultivation of new, robust seeds that are more resistant to extreme environments, or transgenically modified corn to enable the production of low-cost fuels.
- Genetic and epigenetic control of cells through genome engineering technologies is enabling a broad range of applications, from basic biology to biotechnology and medicine.
- Causal genetic mutations or epogenetic variants associated with altered biological function or disease phenotypes can now be rapidly and efficiently recapitulated in animal or cellular models.
- Manipulating biological circuits could also facilitate the generation of useful synthetic materials, such as algae-derived, silica-base diatoms for important agricultural crops to confer resistance to environmental deprivation or pathogenic infection, improving food security while avoiding the introduction of foreign DNA.
- Sustainable and cost-effective biofuels are attractive sources for renewable energy, which could be achieved by creating efficient metabolic pathways for ethanol production in algae or corn.
- Direct in vivo correction of genetic or epigenetic aberrant variation in somatic tissue could be a permanent genetic solution to genetically encoded disorders.
- Finally, engineering cells to optimize high yield generation of drug precursors in bacterial factories could significantly reduce the cost and accessibility of useful therapeutics. In addition to precise gene, the CRISPR-Cas9 system has many other potential applications, such as genome screening, endogenetic gene transcription, and genomic loci imaging.